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Monday, 29 October 2012

The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game
Ellen Raskin
Penguin
ISBN 9781101157459


When I started this book, the story seemed slow and disjointed. Compared to other books by Raskin that I have read, I did not enjoy the beginning. But I am very lucky I did not give up; part way through, the story grabbed my attention and became very addictive. By the end it was towards the top of the list of the 125 books I have read in the first half of this year.

The story begins with a number of people being offered a chance to move into an exclusive condo. Some are also offered offices or business space in the building. Shortly after moving in, the tenants are informed that they are in the will of the reclusive millionaire and founder of the Westing Paper Empire, and that they are all descendants or heirs to the money. But as the will is read they are joined into teams and must work together to solve puzzles and more clues are doled out and small stipends are given to play the game.

This story is full of quirky twists and little details. As you read further into the book you might find yourself going back and rereading some sections to put together the clues yourself. The greatest strength of the book is the characters; they are so quirky and different but have all been drawn together for this game. The book does start slowly but once it picks up, it really races on. It is very well written, exciting and fun.

Books by Ellen Raskin:
Novels:

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)
Figgs & Phantoms
The Tatooed Potato & Other Clues
The Westing Game

Picture Books:
Nothing Ever Happens on My Block
Silly Songs and Sad
Spectacles
Ghost in a Four-Room Apartment
And It Rained. Atheneum, 1969.
A & The, or, William T. C. Baumgarten Comes to Town. Atheneum, 1970.
The World's Greatest Freak Show. Atheneum, 1971.
Franklin Stein. Atheneum, 1972.
Moe Q. McClutch, He Smoked Too Much. Parents, 1973.
Who, Said Sue, Said Whoo? Atheneum, 1973.
Moose, Goose & Little Nobody. Atheneum, 1976.
Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three. Atheneum, 1976.

Illustrated by Ellen Raskin
Happy Christmas: Tales for Boys and Girls. Edited by Claire H. Bishop
A Child's Christmas in Wales. By Dylan Thomas
Mama, I Wish I Was Snow, Child You'd Be Very Cold. By Ruth Krauss
Poems of Edgar Allen Poe. Selected by Dwight MacDonald
We Dickinsons. By Aileen Fisher and Olive Rabe
The Jewish Sabbath. By Molly Cone
Paths of Poetry: Twenty-Five Poets and Their Poems. Edited by Louis Untermeyer
Songs of Innocence. (Two volumes) By William Blake. Music and illustrations by Ellen Raskin
D. H. Lawrence: Poems selected for Young People. Edited by William Cole
Ellen Grae. By Vera and Bill Cleaver
Poems of Robert Herrick. Edited by Winfield T. Scott
Probability. By Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. Watts
This Is Four: The Idea of a Number. By Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. Watts
Books: A Book to Begin on. By Susan Bartlett
Inatuk's Friend. By Suzanne Stark Morrow
Lady Ellen Grae. By Vera and Bill Cleaver
A Paper Zoo: A Collection of Animal Poems by Modern American Poets. Edited by Renee K
Piping Down the Valleys Wild: Poetry for the Young of All Ages. Edited by Nancy Larrick
Symmetry. By Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. Watts
We Alcotts. By Aileen Fisher and Olive Rabe
Circles and Curves. By Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. Watts
Come Along! By Rebecca Caudill
Shrieks at Midnight: Macabre Poems, Eerie and Humorous. Edited by Sara and John E. Brewton
Three and the Shape of Three. By Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. Watts
Elidor. By Alan Garner
Goblin Market. By Christine Rosetti












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